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INSIGHTS 2016

RUSSELL PALMER MANAGING DIRECTOR, YOKOGAWA AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

What is the single biggest challenge facing your industry in the year ahead?

to improve the energy efficiency of your business?

Low business confidence and the corresponding falling capital expenditure are the biggest challenges. There are many major oil, gas and mining projects that have been put on the shelf waiting for ‘better times’. The challenge is that in times of uncertainty and budget restrictions companies need to invest to improve their operations, increase efficiencies and solve complex business and process problems. Some companies have also not had the results promised by so-called consultants and experts, and are jaded by these early forays into business/production improvement projects; the challenge is selecting a technology partner that has demonstrable capability and domain knowledge. Yokogawa believes in co-innovation with our customers, to bring our significant process and technology expertise and our customers’ unique business and production know-how together to provide solutions that will be relevant and sustainable and ultimately help our customers be more competitive.

Yokogawa is a world leader in the supply of precision power analysers and energy management solutions, and provides solutions for companies that wish to be efficient in their energy utilisation — including a holistic solution in accordance with ISO50001:2011E to measure and sustain continuous energy-efficiency improvements. Yokogawa also has extensive capability in the field of virtualisation, which allows for the reduction of the IT infrastructure footprint.

What do you see as the two or three biggest growth opportunities for your customers in 2016? The once-in-a-generation resources boom that we have recently experienced has delivered an enormous number of operational assets. For many of our customers, the emphasis is firmly on gaining efficiencies and sweating their assets while increasing throughput and productivity. In this regard, Yokogawa has core expertise in production, safety, asset, operator and lifecycle excellence, designed to minimise process inefficiencies, operator error and unplanned downtime, while ensuring zero harm. Our Advanced Solutions teams are collaborating with key customers to find continuous improvement for complex processes, as well as presenting comprehensive business solutions across their entire value chain.

What are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? Yokogawa has forged a reputation for excellence in mission-critical and highly complex industries, where ultra-reliable and innovative products are coupled with excellent engineering delivery and lifecycle services capability. Our customers rightly expect us to protect their investment and to continue to deliver innovative products and solutions through close collaboration and a deep understanding of their businesses and processes. This vision — where through co-innovation with our partners and customers we aim to create new value for our clients — is central to our culture.

What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2016? Our customers are seeking to streamline and optimise entire value chains, both inside and outside their organisations. They are demanding better products and solutions to improve the links between management and operations at an ever increasing rate. Yokogawa — as a provider of measurement, analytics, complex control solutions as well as process optimisation and business connectivity suites — is well placed to assist our customers to connect things and information seamlessly.

What are your thoughts on the slow uptake of new and emerging technologies? There are many ‘new’ technologies presented but few come with a compelling case on why they should be adopted. When you are in a cautious market as we are in now, the adoption hurdle gets higher. If you have a new idea, then you need to make sure that you create a compelling communication on why people should notice it, trial it and adopt it. Of course there is no better way to foster adoption of a new idea than if the new idea is the result of cooperative innovation with your customer.

Russell Palmer is the Managing Director of Yokogawa Australia & New Zealand and has been with Yokogawa Australia for 18 years. Russell has held roles from front-line engineering sales to sales and marketing director — a position he has held for 10 years. Russell’s focus is on collaborating with customers to make possible new solutions to the problems faced in industry.

What systems or technologies have been implemented or are you planning to implement INSIGHTS 2016 71

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Sustainability Matters Dec 2015/Jan 2016  

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